Tavai >> Davis

Just firing up Gamepass for the 1st time this season.
You know how important it was for Davis that Snacks kept him clean?
Tavai doesn’t care, he’ll keep his self clean. The way he takes on the OL without giving up ground is a welcome departure from seeing Davis thrown around. I’m trying to enjoy watching Tavai, but every snap he shows strength, control and diversity and I get a little giddy… I then see Davis and just shake my head.

I’m sure Davis’s speed allows him to cover the intermediate better, so I don’t want this to seem like too much of bash, but Tavai’s play along the line is quite a contrast.

I don’t know Davis’s future here, but Tavai fits nicely with Flowers, Kennard and Jones. It’s almost like they’re 18 year olds doing 18 year old things and Davis is this 14 year-old tag-along that isn’t of-age and can’t do the things the others can. Hoping to see health and scheme allow Davis become an impact player.

For one it’s not a one or the other deal. Tavai wasn’t brought here to replace davis, he’s here to play with him. They are both able to play different spots at different times. They are 2 different players as far as strengths go.
Secondly, it was Davis first game back at live action. There’s an adjustment for him, the players, and the coaches on how to best utilize not only davis but tavai and the others. Both will be fine and make their plays.
Also Davis was the one who forced the fumble so he wasn’t horrible first game back


Exactly. It’s not one or the other. They will be great together


Boy, was I wrong on draft day. Hated the pick then, now…not so much. :kissing_heart:


Like most here, I had no clue who Tavai was when we drafted him. But watching some of his college film, it was clear why Quinn took him. He’s a natural football player with great instincts, and he’s got a unique blend of skills that allow him to do everything you’d ask for a LB to do in a game. From inside to outside, to pass rush to coverage…the kid can do it all. He’s got good short area agility and burst to function on most plays he’d be involved in. The only real weakness I see is one that alot of LBs have…his long speed. So if you can get him matched up man to man with a faster guy down the seam, he can only keep up with him for the first 20 or so yards.


Before Davis got hurt I read they showed a lot of four LB sets in camp. I expect when they are both healthy to see them on the field together fairly often

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Perhaps, Tavai will become the Troy Polamalu of the LB position.


I hope, he’s got an NFL build.

Tavai is definitely a different animal. I usually feel pretty neutral on picks, because I don’t know the college dudes as well. I agree that they’ll be playing together a lot. Comparing them is apples and oranges though. I saw an interview with Quinn where he said there may be 2 of these types of LBs that show up every year (to fit what we want to fit the middle, in this defense). He said, if you get a GOOD one, you take him where you have to (referencing draft position).
This pick, along with others, makes me believe in Quinn. Dude does what his scouts say, and his scouts are damn good at their job. Wish our FA OL acquisitions would have worked out to be healthier and more effective. Back to the drawing board at Tackle.

I mocked Tavai to us in the 5th, mostly because we had him in for a visit… Then I watched his ‘highlights’ and came away super unimpressed so I took him off the board and even said “I want nothing to do with Tavai.” Just thought he played reckless and a lot of his tackles he seemed to be the 2nd or 3rd guy there.

Then we take him in round 2… WTF??? ?? ?

But, it’s super early in his career and if he improves steadily through his first 3 seasons he’s going to be great!

That’s how I viewed Clay Matthews

They said they measured the dude’s back width and that was one of the attributes that they were looking for in their Hightower type guy. They knew exactly what they were looking for. And if their scouts can ID their guys successfully every year, it bodes well for the future. One of the advantages Belichick had was that he was looking for specific attributes on defenders that other teams weren’t. So they were able to snatch up guys that a lot of other teams had low interest in.


Davis is the defensive Stafford. Flawed but a good player with some exceptional qualities offset by some weaknesses and a player who gets way too little credit from the fan base.


Stafford is ridiculously talented. Davis is the little engine that could.

Like I said, I don’t want to bash the guy too much. I hope they do find a role for him and he earns a second contract. But in pure, physical ability, watching Flowers, Kennard, Tavai and even Jones move around on and off the line, you appreciate how much stronger they are.

I can’t talk about the differences the eye sees without it sounding like a bash-fest on Davis, so I’ll stop. If there’s one point I’d make, it’s that Tavai is a man out there, even at only game 3.


Davis’ movement skills are elite. He’s also got pretty unreal explosion in his hips and packs a punch that exceeds what you would expect of a player his size. He’s passionate and a good teammate and leader.

He does lack some instincts (especially in coverage) and gets overzealous and over-pursues and fails to break down when making a tackle.

He’s a very talented player albeit a flawed one.


They’re both very good players. Tavai is playing at a very high level for a rookie. I’m happy to have both. I can’t wait to see Tavai develop over the next couple years. I think the kid will be mentioned in the same breath as some day (I’m not comparing them, they’re different kinds of players).

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Tavai was drafted as a scheme fit. He’s everything Patricia and Quinn had expected coming in. His ability to play with strength and leverage in the middle of a 3-4 front, and come off the edge is what set him apart.

JD was drafted a year prior to Patricia getting here and isn’t a scheme fit for a 3-4, but he is still an extremely valuable chess piece in many of the things Patricia likes to do. He’s a chase and tackle backer that can fly to the ball. He was highly effective as a blitzer last year. His first step and closing speed is exceptional.

The downside to both of their games is in coverage. JD doesn’t have a great feel for zone and gets burnt in man coverage due to his over aggressiveness. Tavai doesn’t have great long speed. Teams that find ways to isolate these two will have great success. It’s also a reason why we drafted Tracy Walker. He’s got the length and strength to matchup against TEs as well as the range to play single high. But that still leaves the RBs for Tavai/Davis to cover.


I’d venture to say that if Patricia had been coach one year earlier, TJ Watt would be a Detroit Lions instead of Jarrad Davis.


Totally agree with that.

I assume they focus more on traits, ability and learning capability?
What you’re describing may be a lack of high quality coaching
If they are looking beyond some correctable traits then what you’re describing becomes less an issue.
Just guessing.

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